Mountain herbs contain aromatic substances in high concentration. Alcohol is a good solvent for essential oils; it extracts them, making them usable for medicinal, therapeutic uses or even simply for creating liqueurs and bitters. Among the most famous alpine herbs we find wormwood, the predominant herb in vermouth. The use of genepì is much more limited. Among the gourmet rarities, the Genepì del Piemonte.

With the popular name genepì we include 5 different species of Artemisia, endemic to the Italian and French Alps, in what was once a unique region known as Occitania. These seedlings grow naturally in the rocky ravines or in the stony ground at the base of the glaciers, at a height between 2,000 and 2,500 meters. The fragility of the alpine ecosystem, at the base of the glaciers, has led the legislators to prohibit the collection of Artemisia which is spontaneous. For the production of the liqueur genepì, seedlings must therefore be cultivated. To obtain the liqueur, the fresh or dried stems are macerated in a water-alcohol solution; the extract obtained is then subsequently filtered.

The organoleptic characteristics, especially in the mouth and aftertaste, are absolutely unique, there is no other liqueur or alcoholic infusion that presents this aroma. A pleasant liqueur, which furthermore has health benefits.

Try the Genepì from Piedmont of Distilleria Quaglia.

Marco Negro

Photo credits: & Antica Distilleria Quaglia